IT could be another match of tough weather conditions, but I expect it to be a fierce contest against East Perth at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
The ground will likely not be in the best condition after last weekend’s rain and the country championships.
So I don’t predict a pretty match, but it will be an intense one.
Aside from the fact it’s a derby, our players need to keep winning to keep their top-two chances alive and the Royals need victory to keep their finals chances strong.
Like Peel last like week, it’s difficult to prepare too far in advance because we don’t know what AFL-listed players East Perth will have available.
They’ve had Eric Mackenzie, Dom Sheed and Jack Redden in recent weeks, but will they be there against us?
While East Perth has Paul Johnson and Jonathon Giles in the ruck, I don’t think it will be necessary for us to use two ruckmen.
Besides those two, the Royals aren’t particularly tall so I think Tyler Keitel and Mark Hamilton will be enough of a back up to Chris Keunen.
We’ll make four changes with Aidan Lynch, Kody Manning, Laine Rasmussen and Luke Meadows returning to the side.
It will be tough to omit four players after last week’s win over Peel because every one of our guys played well in the 8.7 (55) to 1.5 (11) victory.
The players set a goal for themselves at three-quarter time to keep the Thunder to one goal and they achieved that aim.
It was not something I was particularly focused on as coach, but it was good to see the players keeping themselves motivated.